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Posts Tagged ‘hypnobirth’

Journey into Motherhood is a book recommended to all Hypnobabies Students, because it is full of wonderful, positive birth stories.  I am so happy to say that Sheri Menelli has decided to give this book away free!  I hope all moms take advantage of this and are inspired by these stories!

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Hypnobabies has put together some of their best pregnancy related CDs into a set for pregnant moms. 

Hypnosis for an Easy Pregnancy CD Set

This set includes Eliminate Nausea Now, Peaceful Sleep Now and Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations. 

I think this is a great addition to the Hypnobabies Home Study Course, or for moms who aren’t sure if they want to do the Home Study, this is a great introduction. 

This set is not meant to help you during birth, but rather to help you have a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy!

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Vanessa’s Story
I had a mostly easy and uneventful pregnancy.  Even the morning
sickness was almost nonexistent, except for a general icky feeling
in the early evenings for the first few weeks.  I was incredibly
tired and hungry throughout the pregnancy, and during the last 2 to
3 weeks I was nearing exhaustion.  It was impossible to find a
comfortable position and I was unable to sleep.  My mental and
emotional states were suffering in those last couple of weeks.  I
arranged to start my maternity leave from work a week before my due
date in hopes of having time at home to relax.

About half way through the pregnancy I started practicing
Hypnobabies, a self-hypnosis program for a comfortable childbirth.
I had decided I wanted to have a natural drug free birth and put my
faith in 6 CDs with suggestions to help me relax through labor and
experience childbirth as an easy and painless event.  Listening to a
CD every night was a great way to relax and it also gave me
confidence in my pregnancy and my body’s ability to birth a baby.

My due date was 09/09/07 but I was really hoping to have my baby on
09/08/07 because numerically I thought it would be a fun birthday to
have.  It was rumored that eating eggplant parmesan would cause
labor to start, so we went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner
on 9/7 and I ordered eggplant parmesan.  I also had the leftovers
for lunch on 9/8.  I was having contractions on 9/8, but
unfortunately they were not regular or strong enough to make me
think that would be the day.  On the morning of Sunday 9/9 I woke
up, and after using the bathroom I noticed some pink spotting.  I
told DH I thought this would be the day.  I continued having
contractions that gradually…. very gradually….. got stronger and
closer together.

DH’s parents called and invited our 4-year-old daughter E to go out
for the day to visit my sister-in-law and see their new house.  E
was excited to go and spend the day playing with her cousin, and I
was glad that she would have the opportunity to do something fun
rather than sit around the house watching me have contractions all
day.  At one point, DH went out to run some last minute errands and
I was enjoying the peace of having the house to myself for a couple
of hours.  My dog wouldn’t leave my side; she must have sensed that
something was going on.

Around 6pm we decided it would be best for DH to call his parents
and tell them to keep E overnight.  A couple of hours later he drove
out to their house with some overnight things for her, and also to
drop our dog with them so we wouldn’t have to worry about taking
care of her either.  At this point I was having hot flashes, so DH
positioned a big fan in front of an open window and pointed it
directly at me.   I was lying on the couch with my eyes closed,
focusing on relaxing through each contraction, while I waited for
him to return home.  I was feeling confident that I could handle it,
I wasn’t experiencing pain or fear, though I did repeat to him
several times that he shouldn’t dilly-dally over at his parents’
house.  I didn’t know how quickly things would progress and I wanted
him to be home.

Later in the evening I was feeling hungry so I ate some soup.  I
remember thinking how nice it was to be at home and to be able to
eat when hungry.  After eating, I decided it was time to start
listening to some of my hypnosis CDs.  I listened with headphones,
trying to find a comfortable position on the couch.  Then I switched
to sitting on the exercise ball with my head resting on the arm of
the couch.  Through each contraction I focused on relaxing
completely, repeating the words “relax” and “peace” (hypnosis cues
that I had been practicing for weeks) over and over in my head.

Around midnight my contractions were about 3 – 4 minutes apart and
finally I agreed to let DH call the midwife.  After talking with
her, he told me she seemed surprised that we hadn’t called her
sooner and she instructed him that we should head for the hospital.
I was glad to be on the road during a time when there wouldn’t be
any traffic to worry about.  The hospital where my midwives are on
staff is about a 30 minute drive without traffic, and who knows how
long during heavy traffic times.  The only aspect of my labor and
birth that I was slightly nervous about was the drive to the
hospital, so it was a relief to know that heavy traffic wouldn’t be
an issue.  As it turns out, the drive was not a big deal at all.  I
sat in front with the seat reclined and my eyes closed, and
continued to listen to hypnosis with my headphones.  Before I knew
it, we had arrived.  It was about 1:00 am.

DH dropped me off in front of the emergency room while he went to
park the car.  We walked in the doors together and he talked to the
man behind the counter.  The man came out and got a wheel chair for
me, but I told him I preferred to walk.  He looked surprised, DH
looked slightly amused, and the man made some comment about never
arguing with a pregnant woman.  He led us to the labor and delivery
area.

I got set up in my room, changed into the sexy hospital gown, and
the nurse came in to strap me up to the monitors and ask a bunch of
questions.  One of the questions the nurse asked was what my plan
was for pain relief.  I answered that I was using hypnosis for a
comfortable and pain free birth.  She also asked what my pain level
was on a scale of 1 – 10 and I answered, “zero.”  I was expecting
those questions and had prepared the answers in my mind ahead of
time.  She checked my dilation and I was disappointed to learn it
was only 4 cm and 50% effaced, but I told myself not to get
discouraged.

Over the next several hours I continued to listen to the Hypnobabies
on my headphones, repeating “peace” and “relax” to myself during
contractions.  I tried several positions during labor – on the bed,
walking around, in the shower, on the chair, on the exercise ball,
even on the toilet.  I changed positions every so often, but mostly
preferred sitting on the bed with the head of the bed raised
completely upright.  The midwife and the nurse both came in and out
of the room many times to check on me, always asking “Are you SURE
there’s nothing you need?”  I guess they were surprised to see a
woman in labor who was so relaxed and comfortable.  Since I was not
hooked up to an IV, they both continued to encourage me to drink
lots of water and juice every time they came to check on me.  Every
time they reminded me I obediently took a sip, then promptly forgot
about it until the next time one of them came in and reminded me
again.

All night long I labored in the hospital, not sleeping.  At 8:00 am
the shift was changing.  The midwife and the L & D nurse who had
been there all night were leaving.  Another midwife was starting her
shift.  During my prenatal visits I had seen both MW’s several
times, so I was comfortable with both of them and glad they were the
ones on call during my labor.

I was very tired and was starting to think I would be pregnant
forever, that I’d never actually give birth to this baby.  MW told
me it was important not to get discouraged, and suggested breaking
my water to speed things up.  I was afraid.  I had been handling
contractions so well up to that point and I was afraid that breaking
my water would be too intense for me to handle.  She had to go and
assist someone else with a cesarean section and said she’d be back
to check on me again afterwards.  While she was gone, I discussed my
fears with DH.  He said whether she breaks my water now, or we wait
for my water to break on its own, it’s still going to be intense and
I will still have to get through it.  Might as well have her do it
and get it over with that much sooner.  That was an enlightening
observation, which made perfect sense to me.  When she came back,
she asked again what I thought about having her break my water.  She
said she had another cesarean section in a few minutes, and I
reluctantly, and bravely, told her I’d be ready for her to break my
water afterwards.

It seemed like no time at all had passed before she came back to
break my water.  It was around 11:30 am.  Before doing so, she
checked my dilation.  I was 8 cm and fully effaced.  I had to lay on
my back for this and as soon as my water was broken I felt this
incredible rush of energy, and I half moaned / half yelled “I HAVE
TO TURN OVER!!”  Somehow I wound up on my hands and knees on the
bed, which ended up being the only possible position for me.  I
can’t explain it, in fact I had consistently imagined myself giving
birth in the squatting position, but hands and knees is the way my
body positioned itself, and so that’s the way it was.  It was right
around this time that I lost my headphones.  They were getting in
the way and I just couldn’t be bothered to fuss with them.  Until
now I had been listening to the Deepening track over and over and
over.  The odd thing about this is that I didn’t really care for
Deepening during my practice, but it was the only thing I wanted
during my birthing time.

The next 50 minutes were unimaginably intense.  Looking back, I
wonder if I caused it to be so intense because that had been my
expectation, that once my water was broken things would get
intense.  In fact I have read birth stories in which labor became
less intense after the waters break, so I don’t know why I
necessarily had this expectation.

I clung to DH during this time.  I sweated and drooled on him.  He
sat straddling the bed, facing me, and I wrapped my arms around his
waist and buried my face in his chest.  I howled with every
contraction.  I felt the energy of a freight train through my body,
but I have to say it really wasn’t painful, just incredibly
powerful.  In between contractions there was nothing but waiting,
then suddenly the freight train feeling would be back.  I was
waiting for the famous urge to push, but it never came.  Gradually I
realized I had already been pushing for awhile.  Once I had that
realization, my next thought was that the also famous ring of fire
would surely be coming soon, but that never happened.  There was no
ring of fire, there was only stretching.

At one point the midwife commented that the baby’s head was moving
down, then back up again.  She said this was good because it meant I
was stretching slowly.  Then she was telling me to push a little bit
more, and I did.  I pushed with no contraction and noticed how weak
and wimpy my pushing felt without the freight train energy helping
me.  I felt the stretching, stretching, stretching almost as though
the baby’s body was squeaking from the tight squeeze as she inched
out of me.  Then the midwife said we needed one more big push to get
the shoulders out.  I obliged and felt her big shoulders come free,
then felt the relief as her soft belly, legs, and feet slid right
out.

I had done it!  All I wanted to do next was collapse on the bed, but
our midwife was telling us to reach down because she was going to
pass the baby through my legs and she wanted us to take her.  DH
took her, and time stood still for a few moments as we marveled at
what had just happened and looked upon our beautiful daughter.  I
think DH summed it up right then by saying something profound
like “Wow!”  We both were surprised to see how much she resembled
E.  DH touched her face, and she turned toward his finger and
started vigorously sucking on it.  We were in awe.

After a few minutes we handed her over so she could be weighed,
diapered, and whatever else they do.  Absolutely everything was done
in the same room as me.  Finally I was able to collapse on the bed!
I was whining about my leg muscles being cramped.  After spending
the most intense hour of my life on my hands and knees, of course my
legs were tired!  I looked over at DH and said, “So… what’s her
name?”  We agreed he would have the final say on naming her, since I
had named E.  He smiled and said, “Vanessa Lois…?”

Without warning, the nurses began to “massage” my uterus.  This is
nothing like having a relaxing massage at a spa.  They were pushing
down on my belly with quite a bit of force and I made no secret
about not enjoying it.  The placenta came out without incident.
Then MW cleaned me up and repaired a small tear, which I also didn’t
enjoy.  Before long, I was being helped off the bed and to the
bathroom.  I felt great!

After returning to the bed, Vanessa and a lunch menu were handed to
me.  Someone said, “You must be really hungry!  Order anything you
want.”  Hungry?  I hadn’t really thought about it, but realized it
had been quite awhile since my last meal.  I ordered, and then
latched Vanessa on so she could have her first meal while I waited
for my lunch.

My whole experience was wonderful.  Labor was long, and I was tired
from not being able to sleep much, but I can honestly say it was not
painful.  My midwives were supportive, as well as the hospital
nurses.

Before leaving us alone, MW said she was so glad I gave birth on
hands and knees.  At the time, I didn’t think to ask why.  Later I
began to wonder.  Did she have reason to believe it would have been
more difficult in a different position?  Would her shoulders have
been stuck?  At my 6-week post partum check up, I finally asked.
No, the baby was not stuck; in fact I had plenty of room for her to
come out.  The reason MW was so glad is because I am only the second person she has ever seen to give birth on hands and knees.  As a midwife, she tells women how important it is to listen to our body
and do what feels right, but still almost everyone ends up on their
back for pushing.  I was surprised to hear that.  I certainly didn’t
do it for the sake of being different.  In fact, I am one of the few
women who actually followed the instructions to listen to my body.

Vanessa was born 9/10/2007.
She was 8 lbs. 10 oz.

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My name is Carole Thorpe. I have been active in the natural childbirth community for over 30 years. I assisted hundreds of women in childbirth long before we were known as doulas. I was a birth assistant to an MD/OB, who owned and operated a birthing center, and who also “caught” babies in couples homes.

I taught many hundreds of his patients preparation for natural childbirth classes. I taught them the anatomy and physiology of late pregnancy and the birthing process. I also taught them how to manage or cope with any discomfort during their birthings by using breathing techniques similar to those taught by both Bradley and Lamaze, and taught their birth partners to employ touch or verbal relaxation cues, and I taught moms how to create their own guided imagery scenarios to be read to them during their birthings in order to give them mental respite from their contractions, and how to use external focal points to distract moms and diminish any perceptions of discomfort.

I encouraged them to trust their bodies and their baby’s journey through the birthing process. I personally assisted over 300 of those traditionally prepared women as they gave birth to their babies without drugs or interventions. I assisted women who were peaceful, physically relaxed and in control of their birthings, and who were empowered by the outcomes. I gave birth to four children this way myself. I’d venture to say that the majority of those who gave birth naturally this way, wouldn’t say that they enjoyed their baby’s birthing per se, or that it was physically pleasant. Maybe they were delighted that they achieved their goal of an unmedicated birth, and most of them were empowered by the fact that they endured, or that they managed or coped with the pain of childbirth. None of them said it was easy or comfortable, or that they enjoyed their babies’ births so much that they’d like to do it again the very next day.

Today I hear my doula clients say such things as, “My birthing day was the most amazing day of my pregnancy, NO PAIN!…I would do it again tomorrow”, (moments after giving birth to her first baby). One recent mom said, “THAT was IT? It was SO EASY…I so want one more!” (the instant her baby slipped out of her body and was brought up into her arms). And, I heard a high-risk OB say (with tears in his eyes), “In my 15 years of practice, I’ve never seen another woman give birth with such dignity, such grace and such control”. In this case the doctor I am referring to, was speaking to a 19-year old single mom. He had just witnessed her birthing her baby into her own hands. She held her own bottom to control the speed with which her baby came through her perineum, pushed when it felt right, waited, just breathing and allowing her body to push her baby when that was enough, holding her own labia open with her fingers, and watching herself in the mirror as she squatted on the hospital bed. Her baby’s head slid out, and the OB checked for a cord, and said, “It’s all you Allison, let me know if I can be of any assistance”, as she scooped her daughter up and into her own arms.

All of these incredible quotes are are in reference to the birthings of some of my recent doula clients. What makes for the difference between the experiences of the traditionally prepared couples I used to assist, and those whose incredible comments you read above? Simply put, it is the addition of post-hypnotic suggestions for releasing fears and creating hypno-anesthesia in the body, to a very thorough program of preparation for natural childbirth…Hypnobabies.

I am a DONA certified doula, a hypnotherapist, a lactation educator, and a childbirth hypnosis instructor. Over the past six years, I have taught the preparation for natural childbirth method called Hypnobabies “eyes-open” childbirth hypnosis. I have assisted at over 200 of my student’s births as their hypno-doula. The 200 Hypnobabies births that I have attended have resulted in such statistics as, a 6 percent epidural rate, a 4 percent cesarean rate, no vacuum or forceps assisted births, an episiotomy rate of less than 5 percent, with only one non-emergency transfer from the home to hospital for ROM times 18 hours with no contractions. 97 percent of these births occurred in hospitals, the remaining 3 percent were midwife-assisted births in couples’ homes or birth centers.

Some of the women who take my classes cannot have epidural anesthesia for one reason or another, such as VBAC, or scoliosis with corrective metal rods attached to their spines, or spina bifida, or a severe reaction to anesthesia during a prior birthing; reasons which make them a slightly higher risk for complications and interventions, not lower. And, yet, my couples statistics are amazing even to me. These statistics are not my opinion; they are actual tallies from the birth records I keep for each doula client and from the birth stories my students send me. These births all occurred within a 50-mile radius of my home in very conservative, highly litigious Orange County, California, where the hospitals average an epidural rate of 95 percent, an induction rate of 40 – 60 percent, a cesarean rate of 30 – 50 percent, and where episiotomy is routine for the vast majority of first-time moms.

In light of my unique and extensive experience assisting with natural birth, and also assisting women with hypnosis for natural childbirth, and as an experienced hypnotherapist, I would like to clarify some misconceptions that many have about hypnosis and its use in childbirthing. The most common misconceptions are, that hypnosis is merely another method of coping with pain or that it’s pain management, or that hypnosis is just flowery guided imagery delivered in a monotone voice that induces deeper relaxation than other methods, or that hypnosis distances a woman from her body during her baby’s birthing and denies her basic physiological responses that others create through enduring pain, or that women won’t remember their baby’s births, or that moms must lie still and listen intently to hypnosis recordings…their birthings entirely scripted, for hypnosis to be of any use. None of these assumptions are true of real self-hypnosis, deepened to the level of somnambulism, which is the depth of hypnosis that one must achieve to create an anesthesia effect in the body.

When a birthing woman is profoundly relaxed and deeply in a state of self-hypnosis, she responds to pre-programmed post-hypnotic suggestions so profoundly that her body creates endorphins, seratonins, melatonins and other relaxing hormones and stress-reducing brain chemicals. This happens automatically and all the smooth muscles in her body, all the muscles controlled by the autonomic nervous system relax so powerfully, that there is a physiological response that is perceived by the woman as a lessening of physical sensations, or a profound diminishing of discomfort, and for the majority of them the elimination of pain entirely. Hypnotherapists call this phenomenon, “hypno-anesthesia”.

It’s common knowledge among those who teach clinical hypnosis for medical purposes, that hypnosis can slow pulse and respiration rates, and lower blood pressure, and eliminate pain entirely. Doctors and dentists use this type of hypnotic conditioning with their patients to create “hypno-anesthesia” for their patients who are allergic to medical anesthesia. These doctors and dentists perform surgeries with no medical anesthesia, with no pain and no side-effects.

Hypnobabies eyes-open childbirth hypnosis teaches the same medical self-hypnosis techniques that doctors and dentists use for their patients who cannot have medical anesthesia. Women listen to hypnosis scripts to learn a cue to instantly enter self-hypnosis, and how to deepen it to the level of somnambulism in order to create an anesthesia effect in their bodies. Hypnobabies mothers experience their contractions as “only pressure” or a pressing down sensation, or even like being squeezed or hugged tightly. Many of the women I have assisted have described the sensation of their contractions as being very much like the sensation of a tight blood pressure cuff…intense, even sometimes mildly uncomfortable, but not automatically painful.

Hypnobabies moms learn to create hypno-anesthesia at the drop of a finger, literally. They learn to deepen their ability to do so by listening to a script designated to this purpose. Then with practice and by listening to other scripts, these women learn to strengthen the effects of this hypno-anesthesia in their bodies. They regularly practice scripts with their birth partners during their pregnancies to instill these skills as an automatic response to the sensations of their contractions when their labor begins. Through repetition and the resulting compounding effect, women learn to do all of this with their ‘eyes open’ so that they can move around and respond to their birthing body’s cues and their baby’s cardinal movements.

Hypnobabies moms learn ONLY their self-hypnosis techniques and relaxation deepening cues by listening to, and practicing with, their hypnosis scripts. Their BIRTHINGS are NOT scripted, nor are their individual contractions. No one could script a birthing since no two are alike. If someone were to see a Hypnobabies mom in ‘eyes-open’ childbirth hypnosis, she would look the same as any other birthing woman, with the exception that she could talk to you all the way through her contractions if she wanted to. She could “remain comfortable while moving around and still be in a state of deep hypnosis”, with “all the muscles around her baby completely loose, limp, lazy and deeply relaxed”, all the while “creating a mental hypno-anesthesia in her body”; actually enjoying…not merely enduring, her baby’s birth.

She can recognize and respond fully to the “pressure sensations” of her body bearing down during second stage, experiencing “gentle stretching and pressure as her baby crowns and is being born”, turning even more inward to focus MORE intently on the sensations of birthing her baby. A mom in true hypnosis (not one listening to guided imagery scripts which are meant to distance and distract) is never out of touch with reality, she’s actually hyper-aware of her process because she is simply tuning OUT, “all the external goings on around her, tuning IN more fully to her body and her baby”. Caregivers are often fooled by the mom’s observed level of comfort…and often don’t even believe a hypno-mom is in labor until they do a vaginal exam, when they very often discover that she is in late first stage, nearing time to push her baby out, or even complete!

Besides learning their hypnosis techniques, Hypnobabies couples receive a minimum of 18-hours of thorough preparation for childbirth, over the course of a 6-week series. All hypnosis for childbirth classes are NOT created equal. One stands apart from the others as a thorough preparation for childbirth class. This is the reason that DONA recognizes Hypnobabies as the only hypnosis for childbirth course that meets the DONA certification requirement that doula applicants must observe a complete childbirth class series. For example, Hypnobabies moms learn how to stay healthy and low-risk through exercise and nutrition. Couples learn all of the signs of labor, what constitutes an emergency situation during pregnancy and birthing, and they learn guidelines about when to head for the hospital or to call their midwives to come to them.

They learn all about routine procedures in hospitals, and the risks, the benefits and natural alternatives to each. They learn the questions they’ll need to ask in order to create true informed consent. They create their birth preferences based on this information, and based on what they choose for their baby’s birthing. Nothing is scripted for them. They have plenty of opportunity to ask questions in classes and to receive answers to their questions about late pregnancy, birth and the immediate postpartum period…including breastfeeding, and newborn characteristics, and much more. They learn from highly trained instructors who must show that they have a background in childbirth education and hypnosis, and be throughly screened, before they can even apply to enroll in a Hypnobabies instructor training. The certification process is rigorous, more thorough than any other preparation for childbirth program that I have been certified to teach, including other birth hypnosis programs.

Hypnobabies moms are not “denied an opportunity to love and trust themselves and their babies”, nor are they “denied opportunity for self-discovery and growth” during their preparation for birth, or during the actual birthing process…quite the opposite is true actually. During the script practices, when their birth partners read the script for that week to the mother, the mother relaxes so deeply that she creates endorphins and other stress-reducing brain chemicals that occur only in a state of sleep or deep hypnosis. When this happens, their babies play and bump around so much that we have to add to the scripts, “every movement your baby makes as you listen here to my {the birth partner’s} voice, just relaxes you even more”. Mothers and their babies quickly learn to associate that happy, relaxing play-time with their birth partner’s voice. Because of this opportunity for prenatal bonding, I have seen more than one fretful newborn become instantly peaceful at a word from the birth partner. Our couples see this daily practice session as a time to connect and enjoy bonding with each other and their babies, not as hard work.

By using the kinder and gentler terms we substitute for the words “contraction”, “labor”, “delivery” and “transition”, and by eliminating words that women have been negatively programmed with all their lives via every scary story they’ve read, or heard, or seen in the media about birth, we eliminate the fear associated with those words and stories. I fail to see how we deny women anything by giving them a sense of confidence through positive reinforcement (affirmations), and positive wording for what should only be a positive event in their lives. We don’t teach women to be afraid of pain, they’re already afraid of pain. What we do teach them is that they can trust their bodies and be confident that they are capable of giving birth in the manner they choose.

By emphasizing that a woman’s “body was created for birthing”, that a woman should “go within to find her own power through her baby’s birthing”, that her baby’s physical cues deserve to be responded to during birthing by the mother “being so in touch with her body and so in tune with her baby”, and by giving a woman the ability to create comfort in her body at the drop of her finger, we allow her an opportunity to attune more deeply to childbirth’s cues than if she were merely coping with pain, or distracting and distancing herself from pain with busy breathing techniques, or traditional other-than-self-directed comfort measures. The more “power that flows through her, the more empowered she feels”.

By putting the mother fully in control of her own level of comfort with her self-hypnosis techniques, she is free to use all of her hypnosis techniques in whatever way feels right for her. Some hypno-moms never listen to one script during their baby’s birth, preferring to use their instant cues to create deep relaxation and hypno-anesthesia, so they can move around as they wish, while others prefer to listen to CDs and scripts and prompts from their birth partners. They ALL experience all of the thundering power of their baby’s birthing, all the intensity, just not all of the pain. Their babies are born in an atmosphere of comfort, joy and love, with endorphins bathing their senses as well as their mother’s. Why should it take hours and hours of pain-coping for a woman to build up to an endorphin state when it can be created automatically, instantly with the drop of her finger? I fail to see the superiority of eschewing a comfortable method of creating the endorphin state that is necessary for infant-maternal bonding, just so long as it happens. Most of the moms I have worked with were happy that they were able to do so without discomfort. I can’t imagine anyone given the choice, saying, “I choose pain thank you”.

As for my experience with being a Hypnobabies-doula exclusively, it’s much different and much more rewarding than other doula-ing for me. I prefer to help a woman to be truly physically comfortable during her birthing, not just merely calm and peaceful in the face of pain-coping. It is very rewarding to help a mom achieve her goal of a natural, unmedicated childbirth, and to have her say she was completely comfortable and actually enjoyed the process. I prefer to have tools that really work for my doula clients like the word cue, “release” which instantly helps a mother achieve a deep state of hypnosis and hyper-awareness just by hearing it or thinking it to herself. I love that I can help her to deepen her relaxation instantly, when she asks me to, by simply pressing gently on her shoulder and saying softly, “relax, deeper now”. What doula wouldn’t?! It’s so easy.

That’s not to say that I don’t also put cool cloths on her face when she’s pushing and getting overly warm, or that I don’t use aromatherapy to add to the atmosphere of calm in the room, or that I don’t suggest different positions to help with the descent of her baby, or that I don’t do all the things other doulas do. I do all those things, AND I help mothers use their self-hypnosis tools to have their babies in comfort, joy and love. They tell me that they felt empowered by their ability to create a birthing that was peaceful and comfortable for themselves, and unmedicated and safe for their babies, using ‘only’ the power of their minds.

I have never had one Hypnobabies mom say, “I would never do that again”. All of the couples I have worked with, who have gone on to have more babies, become what I affectionately call, my sweet “repeat-offenders”, and most become lifetime members of my family of friends. I love my “work” and I am richly rewarded. It’s SO EASY to be a Hypnobabies-doula.

This article is respectfully submitted by,

Carole Thorpe

Yours in gentle, natural birthings…
500 sweet babies and counting!

Carole Thorpe, VP Hypnobabies
Hypnotherapist (NGH), Hypnobabies Birth Assistant
Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
Lactation Educator/Counselor (UCSD)
CPR for the Professional Rescuer (Red Cross)
Neonatal Resuscitation (AAP & AHA)
Homeopath, Reiki Practitioner
Happiest Baby on the Block Instructor

BIRTH PARTNER Professional Services
http://www.hypnosis4birth.com
carole@hypnosis4birth.com
949.380.1681
949.521.1980 cell
Mission Viejo, CA

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You become a mother starting in your pregnancy and how you are treated during your pregnancy and birth can have a positive or negative influence on you. 

Bellies and Babies Blog has a great post titled How can we expect to make mothers out of women when we treat them like children?  

One great side effect of Hypnobabies and joining the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group, is moms are finding the strength to insist on being treated with respect.  (Of course we all should be, but sometimes care providers don’t)

Some mom’s sit down and have heart to hearts with their care providers and get the support they desire. 

Some mom’s end up changing care providers to one who WILL listen.

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Talk Birth’s Blog had some interesting birth quotes on it. 

Here is one that caught my attention, as quoted from Molly’s blog.

This one is from a book I love called Transformation Through Birth:

“There are many women who delivered their children naturally who swear by [a specific birthing method]. It is sad to see so many women credit a technique rather than themselves and their own inner resources for their birthing experiences. Women who birth joyfully do so because of who they are, what they believe, and how they live.” (emphasis mine)

That last sentence is what really struck me.  “Women who birth joyfully do so because of who they are, what they believe, and how they live”

I think that is one reason why for ME hypnosis helped me have the birth I wanted. It helped change what I believed.

After my first birth, bedrest, Preterm labor, emergency cesarean at 34 weeks, I didn’t believe my body could carry a baby full term, deliver vaginally… but with hypnosis I was able to change my beliefs about my body and birth.

So, while I think it is possible for many women to birth joyfully without certain programs. For moms who need extra help changing their beliefs about birth, Hypnobabies is a great tool to help with that!  Sadly in today’s society most women don’t develop positive beliefs about birth on their own.

I guess I do credit Hypnobabies for the wonderful birth I had with Bryson.  But I guess I really feel I got tools and helped change my beliefs with Hypnobabies and that helped ME to have a wonderful birth.  Because my wonderful birth did stem from what I believe!

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For moms who are interested in Hypnobabies and want to learn more.  There is a free Introduction to Hypnobabies CD available.  There are 2 different tracks on the CD

Track #1 Hypnobabies Introduction: What is Hypnobabies Hypnosis for Childbirth?

This track introduces you to the benefits of using childbirth hypnosis as well as the specific advantages of our Hypnobabies program. You’ll learn about “Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis”, the importance of compete childbirth education and how you can easily become a mental computer reprogrammer, creating a much easier and more comfortable birthing experience for yourself by simply listening to one Hypnobabies CD every day.

Track #2 Relax Me (hypnosis session)

Track #2 is a special gift for you from Hypnobabies! This hypnosis session allows you to experience deep physical relaxation throughout your entire body and a powerful hypnosis training session. You’ll choose a special word cue that will train you to become completely relaxed and calm in any situation, from now on. How wonderful to be calm and in control at all times, in work, family an driving situations, with stress-relief as a wonderful side-effect! Enjoy.

There are two ways to get the free CD.  You can call Hypnobabies or you can download them from Enjoy Birth.

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I read on Crunchy Domestic Goddess about Jessica Alba’s wonderful birth.  She used hypnosis for childbirth, which is such a wonderful tool for moms!  I wish more moms would look into it. 

The benefits that pregnant moms get from using hypnosis range from sleeping better, to feeling more confident about their upcoming births.  With Hypnobabies moms learn about their choices they have when giving birth, from choosing care providers to the pros and cons of different interventions they may be offered.  By making informed choices they will be able to create the best birth possible. 

Moms who use Hypnobabies often have very comfortable, enjoyable births with no medication!  It is so cool to read the birth stories of the moms from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.  I have gathered over 150 birth stories from moms who used hypnosis at Pregnancy Birth and Babies

 

I am glad that Jessica had a great birth and more women will now be aware of the idea of hypnosis for childbirth!

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 We recently had an interesting discussion on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group about Birth being more of a mental challenge than a physical one. 

Here are a few quotes.  Please add your comments

“Now, after studying Hypnobabies and reading up on birth, I see birth so much more as a mental challenge rather than a physical one.

Anyone experience the same?

I mean, I now approach my birthing time with one aim: to relax so that I allow my body to do its job. I have chosen to use my hypnosis, I trust that my tools will help me. And  chosing and using is all in my head.

Last time when I gave birth, I was thinking of birth as a physical challenge. I had read up on positions, and I wanted to try to see if I could manage doing it naturally. I guess I thought that either my body could or couldn’t do it – I would just have to give it a try.

Now I know I can!”

Elin

“After my second birth (first Hypnobabies birth), I had a brief moment of thinking, “That’s IT?!?  All that fuss and months of preparation for that?!  I could do that everyday and twice on Sundays!”  It was then that I realized that rather than “muscling through” my birth, as most women do (especially NCB mamas) I had actually spread the effort involved over several months by preparing so thoroughly.  That put my accomplishment in perspective, and made me even more thrilled with how it had gone!”

-Susan

“Mental vs. physical challenge is something I’ve considered when training for a marathon.  There is an enormous amount of power we carry in our thoughts alone. At any moment I could have told myself to stop running, it’s not worth it, why am I running? But instead I had positive messages from every angle (it will be worth it, my husband will be proud, only 2 more miles and I’ve done 2 miles many times, and so on).

Albeit this new  adventure is unknown and there are the inevitable fears that arise from the unknown, but my baby alone make it worth the mental challenge.”

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